Joe Solmonese

The Gift of Anger

Use Passion to Build Not Destroy

Berrett-Koehler 2016

New Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Human RightsNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network December 10, 2016 Eugenio Duarte

Anger has acquired a bad reputation in our culture. It is an emotional state that can lead us to say and do things we...

Anger has acquired a bad reputation in our culture. It is an emotional state that can lead us to say and do things we later regret, particularly when our emotion overrides reason. But anger has the potential for being used productively, as energy for positive change. Such is among the many lessons former Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese learned during his many years fighting for equal rights for LGBTQ people. He shares these lessons, and the personal experiences in which he learned them, in his new book, The Gift of Anger: Use Passion to Build Not Destroy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016).

In my interview with Mr. Solmonese, we talk about what inspired him to write a book about such a charged emotion as anger and how he manages to remain focused and goal-oriented in the face of staunch resistance to positive change. The lessons he shares are relevant and useful to anyone pursing an ambitious goal, especially for dealing effectively with challenges along the way. Joe Solmonese is former president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization, and former CEO for EMILY’s List, one of the nations largest political action committees. He is currently the managing director and founding partner of Gavin/Solmonese, an organizational consulting firm.


Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in gender and sexuality issues, eating and body image problems, and relationship issues. He regularly presents and writes about these topics, and you can view his work at www.eugenioduartephd.com and by following him on Twitter.

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